Huskies dominate softball field after loss to fifth-ranked Central

Sweet Home 2, Junction City 1

One of the top teams in the state, the Huskies softball team escaped a tough day at bats and defeated Junction City 2-1 at home on Monday.

The Huskies are now 9-3 overall and 3-1 in league play. They are ranked sixth in the state.

“Which is nice, but we know rankings mean little right now,” Coach Steve Hummer said.

The Huskies scored two runs in the fourth inning and did not score again in the game. Junction City had a run in the sixth but was unable to score again.

“Our bats seemed to be as cold as the weather tonight, but we did enough to get a win,” Hummer said. “Olivia Lake broke our slump in a big way tonight, going 1-3 with a homerun and two RBIs. Kaci Pettit collected another hit tonight as did Paige Niemi.”

Makenzie Marchbanks struck out 13 batters, walked two and gave up three hits.

“We are North Marion this Friday and then battle Central and Newport next week in two huge games,” Hummer said. “Newport is ranked fourth and Central fifth.”

Junction City 000 0010 – 1 3 1

Sweet Home 000 200x – 2 4 1

Sweet Home 11, Philomath 1

“Mac (Marchbanks) really took it to them tonight, overpowering hitter after hitter, and she did not walk anyone,” Hummer said. “If she gives up no walks, our opponent really has to earn their runs.”

The Huskies defeated Philomath 11-1 in six innings at home on Friday.

At bat, Pettit broke out with a three-run homerun. Marchbanks went 2-4 with Michelle Cliver adding two hits and Mink tripling. Mink also stole three bases.

Philomath 000 001 – 1 2 2

Sweet Home 020 432 – 11 9 2

Sweet Home 10, Taft 0

The Huskies dominated Taft at home on April 11, winning 10-0 in six innings.

“The girls played a solid game and took care of business tonight,” Hummer said. “Mac was dominant again, and we collected nine hits, not a great offensive performance but a solid one.

“Mac got her first homerun of the year tonight. Niemi continued to improve at the plate. Idahna (Huenergardt) seems to really be coming into her own as well.

“Lacey Mink continues to really shine at second base. She made her second diving catch of a pop fly tonight and then made a great off-balance throw from her knees to get a double play. Her ability to cover ground at second has really made us a better team.”

Pitching, Marchbanks struck out nine batters and gave two walks and one hit.

At the plate, Marchbanks went 3-4 with a homerun. Cliver had a triple. Huenergardt went 2-3, and Niemi went 1-3 with three RBIs.

Taft 000 000 – 0 1 1

Sweet Home 123 031 – 10 9 1

Central 3, Sweet Home 0

The Huskies started last week out with a 3-0 loss at fifth-ranked Central on April 10.

“This was a real tough way to start the week,” Hummer said. “Central is ranked fifth, and we really felt like we had a chance to get an early lead in the league standings.

“Their pitcher did an outstanding job of changing speeds and moving the ball in and out on us. We actually out-hit them, but were not able to come up with the big hit when we needed.

“Defensively, we played well for the most part. They took advantate of a couple of walks in the fifth and put together a big inning.”

Pitching, Marchbanks had eight strikeouts and gave up three walks and four hits.

“Paige Niemi got two hits tonight, and is really beginning to strike the ball well,” Hummer said.

“This loss leaves us tied with Central and Newport for first place in league,” Hummer said. “Since only two teams make the playoffs from our league this year, I really believe the team who works hard down the stretch and keeps their eyes focused on their goals will get it done.

“I really believe that team will be us.”

Sweet Home 000 0000 – 0 5 1

Central 000 030x – 3 4 2